Martin Sorrell attempting to start new ad firm

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 28JAN10 - Sir Martin Sorrell, Group Chief Executive, WPP Plc, United Kingdom capt...

Sorrell seeks new beginning in S4 Capital

Martin Sorrell, the founder of advertising giant WPP plc, asked his shareholders this week for permission in raising £1 ($1.3 billion) for his new ad venture.

His new company, S4 Capital, will have a purpose different than WPP plc, as it would not be able to compete with WPP and the massive clients it acquires. Instead, S4 Capital will target smaller, rising firms that focus on technology and data. In fact, according to the letter sent out to shareholders, Sorrell is already in talks with many companies to strike advertising deals.

S4 Capital investments aren’t looking too shabby, either. Sorrell has invested £40 million himself, multiple investors have pledged £11 million total, and other investors have given nonbinding commitments amounting to £150 million. All in all, if everything goes according to plan, that would give S4 Capital over £200 million in investments.

The launch of this company comes at a time of controversy for Sorrell, however. He resigned as CEO of WPP in April after allegations of workplace misconduct and misuse of company assets, including the potential purchase of a stripper. Although he has denied all allegations and nothing has been proven, WPP chairman Roberto Quarta will continue the investigation. If the allegations are true, they would hinder Sorrell’s ability to collect a share award of roughly £20 million.

At the end of the day, one thing is certain: if S4 Capital is even remotely as successful as WPP, then the investors will certainly reap the benefits of their commitments in the near future.


Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

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